Saturday, November 12, 2011

Montpellier & Market

Chateau d'eau de Peyrou, Montpellier, France

my tour guide Miriam at one of the oldest medical schools in Montpellier, France

from inside shop Bienvenue la Ferme, Montpellier, France

WWOOF house

French market

trompe l'oeil- only 3 real windows and one door, Montpellier, France

On Wednesday we went to Elizabeth's shop in Montpellier. I'd only been cleaning the pumpkins for a few minutes when yet another old lady began speaking to me in French. After shaking my head and mumbling something about English she said, "Oh! English?" And said hello to me and asked where I was from in pretty good English. She wished me the best on her way out and later Elizabeth received a phone call asking if I'd like to go on a tour of Montpellier. So a few hours later she came for me and I breathlessly followed her as she rather quickly walked all over and told me about statues, gingko trees after Hiroshima, Saint Roch and his dog, and pointed out examples of trompe l'oeil. We didn't even introduce ourselves until our walk was nearly over. 

Yesterday, we woke up at 5:45AM to head off to a town to cook oignons beignets at a market all day. They were rather tasty little things. I was chastised for taking a picture of an Afghan lady (who didn't look Afghan and spoke fluent French), quickly learned to count back change for the first time in my life (any sort of math and I are eternal enemies!), had a fresh chataigne et chocolat crepes, ate roasted chestnuts (chataignes) and improved on my French. Then again, anything more than knowing oui and  Of course, for some reason I was the one speaking with customers most, second to Elizabeth, and I speak no French. Actually, I spoke no French. Nothing like trial by fire for language learning. The thing that stuck the most was something like "safi cinq" and only because the safi sounded just like the safi in Swahili. 

I have a new appreciation for people who work at markets and apparently this was an easy one! Fourteen hours of work and it's an easy one for them!

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